Elias Attia is a solicitor at Attia Lawyers and Consultants. He regularly appears in the Federal and Supreme Courts on matters of Employment, refugee, migration, appeals, estates and property disputes. He has investigated cases of foreign worker exploitation in regional townships across four states and territories. He has practiced in areas of Islamic law and Finance. He trains junior lawyers in litigation and community development consulting noting the relationship and limits of each discipline.
In addition, Elias has over 15 years of experience in community development, advocacy and research experience. As a consultant, Elias supported Afghan, Syrian and South Sudanese refugee organisations often in collaboration with STARTTS or other organisations. As a grants consultant he secured close to $1million in small grants funding for community groups whilst mentoring emerging leaders and grassroots volunteers. He co-founded a refugee advocacy program over four years that featured a weekly lunch program for 200 community visitors and refugees at the Villawood Detention Centre: Read article here.
Elias delivered organised community training programs on community advocacy, digital storytelling and media training. He co-convened the St George and Sutherland Refugee Support Group and the St George Multicultural Network whilst working as a community development officer with the St George Migrant Resource Centre.
Elias was involved in community groups that seeded a community garden at a public high school, co-organised an adventure camp with FAMSY/Australian Islamic Mission and launched the first World Hijab day event on Market Street Sydney. Most of his initiatives involve food.
Elias presented papers before three human rights commissioners at the Australian Human Rights Commission, secured a concession from Liberal Senator George Brandis QC that Muslim communities were not being properly consulted on issues of national security and disproved the Daily Telegraph’s narrative of an “Axis of Evil” operating in three Sydney suburbs.
Elias was the president of the Islamic Society of UNSW (ISOC), completed the Muslim Leaders Program (Islamic Council of Victoria and the Centre for Dialogue, La Trobe University), the Australia Indonesia Exchange Program (Australia Indonesia Institute) and the WISE Summer School at the Centre for Advanced Studies on Islam Science and Civilisation at the University of Technology Malaysia.
Elias worked as a research assistant to Dr Halim Rane and Dr Nora Amath interviewing NSW Muslims whose families migrated to Australia before 1970s to better understand the evolution of the Muslim community and how they have been perceived by the broader community.
Elias is passionate about linking Australian Muslim communities with the rest of the world and has met global Muslim leaders from The Gambia, Southern Thailand, Southern Phillippines Mindanao region, India, Spain, Dubai, Bosnia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
Early in his career he completed placements with the Diplomacy Training Program (UNSW), Redfern Legal Centre, Kingsford Legal Centre, Amnesty International and the National Information Communications Technology Australia (NICTA). He completed a placement as a legal assistant to Justice Dr Thomas Hickie and the late Chief Justice Anthony Gates at the High Court of Fiji largely updating case files after disruptions to the legal system caused by a coup.
Elias completed a law/science double degree from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), A Diploma of Innovation management (UNSW; pending a short final report), Certificate IV in Business and completed a Certificate IV in Human Rights Advocacy and Education (AHRC/TAFE NSW).
Elias was born in Singapore of a Chindian (Chinese-Indian) background and speaks Malay and Arabic as a second language. He completed the entirety of his education at the Malek Fahd Islamic School in Greenacre. He loves gardening and permaculture.